Bella Hardy Trio
BBC Folk Singer of the Year Bella Hardy found her first home in folk music through a childhood love for ballad books. A self-taught ‘fiddle singer’, she began performing at Cambridge and Sidmouth festivals from the age of 13. Her debut album Night Visiting established her reputation as a talented songwriter when her first original composition Three Black Feathers earned a BBC Folk Award nomination. Since then, Bella has sung unaccompanied ballads at a sold-out Royal Albert Hall, taken a band of drums, brass and electronics to the National Concert Hall of Budapest, and learnt the songs of Chinese farmers during her time as British Council Musician in Residence in Yunnan Province. She’s sat on the moors of her beloved Peak District with only her fiddle for company. She spent a year in Tennessee as a ranch hand, looking after horses, fiddle-singing in the diners, and immersing herself in the music culture of Nashville. With her mesmerising voice and ability to conjure and twist stories that call straight to the heart, Bella has beguiled audiences from Canada to Japan, from Spanish bars, to Castles, to Concert Halls.
With unflinching courage, Bella has explored and blurred musical boundaries. From her mastery of traditional music and the stripped back strings and concertina of her debut album Night Visiting (2007), to the electric guitar and drums in the self-penned humanist hymns and feminist battle cries of Hey Sammy (2017), via the Derbyshire ballads of The Dark Peak & The White and ancient Chinese poetry of Eternal Spring, an album of songs and poetry recorded in China, her themes of displacement and home, lost and found love, heartache and joy, are delivered with her unique, disarming honesty, and, of course, the acclaimed crystalline voice that won her BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Singer of the Year.
With her 10th solo record Love Songs, Bella Hardy has returned to the traditional ballads she’s known all her life. Since 2017’s self-written Hey Sammy, Bella has released a best-of collection Postcards & Pocketbooks, an accompanying hardback book The Complete Lyrics of Bella Hardy, and become the parent of two dogs and an extremely recent baby. This latest album - recorded in just three days - features seven folk songs alongside four of her own compositions.
With guitar by producer Mike Vass and piano and clarinet from Tom Gibbs, this exquisitely understated album places Bella Hardy’s soaring, storytelling voice in the room with you. Old and new stories of shoemakers sent to sea; sweethearts waved off to war; penniless lovers scorned by parents; spouses digging deep railway tunnels… all told with precision, sensitivity, wisdom and the deft musicianship for which she’s renowned, now honed by 15-years of experience at the forefront of English folk music.
“Brit folk's finest” Mojo Magazine
“Enduringly seductive” The Telegraph
“A fine, no-nonsense interpreter of traditional music and an excellent songwriter” The Guardian